Four Tips When Planning A Road Trip During COVID-19

Nicole Ellis
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Have you been indecisive lately on flying again domestically or internationally?  Are you going stir crazy staring at the four walls within your home?  Thinking about taking a road trip across the U.S., but don't know where to go?  Well, check out my tips below to help guide you in planning your next road trip, as we continue to overcome COVID-19.

Four Tips When Planning A Road Trip During Covid-19
 
1)  Be Strategic About Picking Your Destination
 
Select a destination that offers vast land in which you can practice social distancing and away from large crowds.  Perhaps consider a local or state national park that offers natural beauty and identifies as a hidden gem in its own right.  Beaches and lakes also qualify under this category.
 
My husband and I visited Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah back in April to check out the postcard views according to pictures we saw online.  We decided to head to Bryce Canyon because it was so spread out and we felt like we wouldn't risk the chance of being around alot of other tourists.  The drive was only four hours from Las Vegas as we figured we could knock out this road trip within a day.  So, we left during the wee hours of the morning to arrive right around sunrise as we read that your best pictures can be taken from the sun rising and setting off onto the craters within the canyon.  Upon arriving, we took in the quiet and beautiful vista points within the canyon.  As we were leaving around 12noonish, that's when the crowds started coming in and we were smiling with contentment as not only were we able to practice social distancing, but it's like we had the entire park to ourselves.
 
2)  Bringing Essentials For An Overnight Stay
 
Our recent road trips have taken us to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah; Palm Springs, California; Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona, and Lake Havasu City in Arizona. Out of the four road trips we've taken, we decided to stay overnight for two nights in Lake Havasu City. In doing so and for all of our road trips, we brought our own cleaning solutions to wipe down the kitchen sink, counter tops, and dining room table.  In addition; we brought hand sanitizers, bleach, and extra disposable masks to wear.  Although the resort we stayed at was immaculately clean from top to bottom, we still put our own personal touch by laying out our own pillowcases, fitted sheets and comforters for the bed  This is one of the many advantages in taking a road trip as you can pack up your car with all of the necessary travel essentials all while keeping a peace of mind.  
 
3)  Save Money By Picking Up Your Own Snacks
Whether you're taking a day road trip or staying overnight, I find it always cheaper to purchase my own snacks versus picking up along the way at convenient stores.  Depending on the distance of your destination, it's important to factor in the number of times you may need to stop to buy gas, use the restroom, and well...grab some snacks and/or fast food along the way.  When we planned out all of our road trips, we decided to purchase our own snacks and even brought our own water cooler filled with ice and frozen water bottles and power drinks.  
 
We even packed hummus, fruit cups, power bars, Omega-3 trail mix, peanut butter, celery and carrot sticks.  As a recent vegan, I had to find healthy snacks that would help me retain energy and protein while driving on the road.  I was actually surprised on how much energy I had returning back home.  When we stayed overnight at Lake Havasu City, Arizona, we decided to order some Thai food and picked it up to go to bring back to our room.  Thai food is definitely a healthy choice to pick if you find yourself dining out, yet trying to keep it healthy.  
 
 4)  Live In The Moment As Life Is Truly Precious
After four months of reluctantly embracing a surreal global pandemic of the Coronavirus (Also known as COVID-19), let's face it...many of us need a break from being confined to the same four walls in our house.  That being said, a mini road trip will do our bodies some good, including our physical and mental states.  As we're already practicing social distancing on a daily basis by visiting our local parks, going for a hike or exploring a walking trail, etc....We can also apply those same practices by jumping into our cars and going to visit hidden gems in our very own backyard (This also goes for my friends who live in another country.  I'm sure you have plenty of interesting places to visit on the other side of the globe).  
 
Confession time:  I use to hold off from visiting local U.S. tourist destinations because I thought it would be much more exciting to visit international destinations from around the world which, would give me that "WOW" factor.  Yet, what I discovered is...that's simply not true.  I made an assumption and prejudged the hidden gems and all they had to offer.  Now that I'm left with limited choices on where to travel to, I have a new found appreciation for discovering destinations that are only a road trip away.  It's all about making lemons out of lemonade and playing the hand that you are dealt with throughout life.  So my mantra is all about, living in the moment as life is truly precious to us.
 
My words to live (and in general) by while road-tripping through this pandemic...
-  Continue to practice social distancing
-  Wear face masks when traveling and surrounded by other people
-  Take in beautiful scenery, be curious, and learn something new when traveling
-  Spend time with those who truly love and care for you...and simply makes you laugh and puts a smile on your face
-  Take plenty of pictures and savor in the moments by eating good food
-  Be kind and respectful to those who come across your journey
-  Relax and remove any negative energy that will deter you from having an amazing time

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